Spotlight on Heartland Cable

Firefighters and government officials in rural Illinois have access to free or reduced-price broadband service, thanks to Heartland Cable.

Headquartered in Minonk, Heartland Cable provides video, phone, and high-speed internet service to more than 1,400 customers in rural towns throughout the Northeast Central, Northwest and North Central eTeam regions.

“The biggest town we serve has a population of approximately 1,000 people,” said Steve Allen, President of Heartland Cable. “A majority of these folks didn’t have service at all before we expanded, so it's exciting when you get to hook up farmers and residents in small communities, allowing them to connect in real time.” 

Since 1986, Heartland Cable’s mission has been to provide quality service to rural residents.  Public entities, such as city halls and fire departments, are given free or reduced-priced service. This service has allowed government officials to apply and search for grants online and post digital copies of forms for residents. 

Local businesses are also benefiting from Heartland’s service.

“Local entrepreneurs are able to stay in business because of being able to sell and advertise their products over the Internet,” said Mr. Allen. "The internet allows businesses to be located anywhere and for our residents to participate in the global economy- no matter where they live."

Antique dealers, farm implement businesses, used car dealers and others are able to make transactions online due to high-speed internet access from Heartland. According to Mr. Allen, used car dealers in the area now conduct more than 75 percent of their transactions online. 

One challenge Heartland Cable faces is getting access to more fiber at reasonable prices to improve current bandwidth. A current project to lay eleven miles of fiber is under way, while another thirty miles are being planned. Allen said he would like to see bandwidth increase significantly for these projects.

Visit updated provider pages, including Heartland Cable's, on the Broadband Illinois website.

Tags: economic development, economic growth, eGovernment, Heartland Cable, Steve Allen

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